Category:How To

Want to blow a mathematician's mind? Ask him how a human learns to balance on two wheels or even one wheel.

If you are going to ride a motorcycle (excluding trikes from this discussion) you've got to learn how to balance on two wheels. Nearly all of us learned on a bicycle and moved up as we got older.

Someone is going to point to the new BMW self balancing ride. Great, as long as the bike is charged.

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When it comes to the things we don't like about riding, saddle sores are not something that usually tops the list. Until experienced that is.

Saddle sores are created by pressure or chafing from sitting in one place too long. It's the same thing as bed sores. These days it's more common for bicycle riders, because of the configuration of that tiny seat, but it can hit anyone who rides on two or three wheels. Horses and horse riders can also get them.

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Most of us are going to finance a ride when we get one. New or used, coming up with that kind of cash on the spot is so close to impossible you can see it on a foggy morning.

If you are looking at financing a ride, here are a few things you need to know and some things you should do.

NEGOTIATE THE PRICE

Hard to believe, but some people will pay the asking price. Don't. Negotiate with whoever is selling the ride. Do not be afraid to walk away, especially for a used bike. Online sites are packed with used bikes for sale every day and you can find one you like close by.

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Recent stories about bike theft, including this guy, is a sobering reminder that stealing a bike is almost too easy.

Here are some tips to prevent theft and a few ideas on how to get your bike back if it is taken.

STOP THEFT

Esurance has some limited ideas on how to stop bike theft in this article. The best listed idea is to lock your bike to something secure like a tree, a building or street light. Second best is locking the forks and disc brakes.

Before you decide to invest in a locking system for your bike, make sure you get a decent lock.

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Change the oil in your ride regularly. You know that, but how much do you know about the oil you put into your steel steed?

IT'S NOT WEIGHT

Motor oil is commonly sold with a "w" and some numbers. A lot of people say the "w" stands for weight. It means "winter." The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) came up with the numbers and the "w" for motor oil. "The numbers 0, 5, 10, 15, (20) and 25 are (sometimes) suffixed with the letter W, designating they are "winter" (not "weight") or cold-start viscosity, at lower temperature," says the Lard Oil company.

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Not sure how to shop for motorcycle insurance? Here’s a guide to help cut the clutter.  

We are not recommending any insurance company listed here. We just use their websites to provide the information you need to know. 

CHECK THE LAW

Step one is to find out what your state law requires. DMV.org lets you select your state to find out what’s required. You may be surprised to learn that motorcycle insurance is not a requirement in all 50 states. 

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Since bikers have little way to secure our rides when parked away from home, theft has got to be a worry. 

Yes, we can lock things down. Bolt cutters make short work of even hardened steel, so a tire boot is not a lot of help. 

We can lock the steering. But three big guys can pick up almost every ride and put it in the back of a pickup. For some of the bigger bikes, four guys can lift it. 

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We’d like to think we could ride our motorcycles anywhere, whether it’s a few hundred miles, between states or even across international borders. But sometimes, like when your bike decides to have a sick day or you’re scheduled for a dream ride overseas, your bike has to leave without you. Seeing your two-wheeled baby loaded onto a truck and hauled to a destination out of view can be an unnerving experience fraught with anxiety and sweaty palms, especially if the person doing the loading has shaky hands.

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Don’t you hate it, cars that are driving so close to you that you can smell the engine’s oil? Not only is it illegal for cars to do this, it’s very, very, dangerous. Even if you lightly tap your brakes, the car is going to plow into you. And it serves no purpose.

Here are a few things to take into account the next time a car or truck is riding too close behind you.

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It's probably one of the most embarrassing moments in a biker's lifetime: dropping your motorcycle. It usually happens to everyone, one moment of inattention, a slippage of your foot, some loose gravel, or even something that was not your fault (like car car bumping into your bike while it was trying to park).

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If there is one vehicle ideally suited for hot weather transportation, it's a motorcycle. Wind flowing over your body, enjoying the heat; bliss. But when you are riding during a heatwave, or just in Death Valley, it's anything but fun. At that stage, being in a strongly air-conditioned car is probably nicer. But that is often a luxury which we can not, or want to, partake in.

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